Yankees injury update: Phil Hughes, Clay Rapada likely headed for DL

Nick Laham

New York is liable to start the season missing a couple more pieces.

If there were an award handed out for most injuries to begin a season, I think the 2013 New York Yankees would be a lock to win it. The Daniel Day-Lewis of pre-season baseball injuries are at it again Friday, as it's emerged that right-hander Phil Hughes and southpaw Clay Rapada are likely to start the season on the disabled list, reports Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

Manager Joe Girardi would not commit to saying that Hughes -- who is starting a game in minor-league camp today -- will begin the year on the DL. But it was David Phelps once again who got the start for the big-league club on Thursday, indicating that'll he (Phelps) and Ivan Nova will likely be in the rotation come Opening Day.

Hughes, 26, has been battling with a bulging disc in his back since the second week of camp and has yet to take the mound against major-league competition this spring. The right-hander dealt with similar back issues in the postseason last fall, so this obviously isn't something that the Yankees can view as a one-off thing.

The 32-year-old Rapada, who is recovering from shoulder bursitis, threw 15 pitches from the mound on Friday, but hasn't been able to string together sessions on consecutive days yet. The southpaw thinks that he is only a week or two behind schedule, and should be ready sometime in April, but he doesn't want to set the team back by rushing his recovery.

Right-handers Shawn Kelley and Cody Eppley, along with southpaw Vidal Nuno, are likely candidates to make the Opening Day roster with Rapada on the sideline.

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